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The Lottery (1948) by Shirley Jackson (Essay Sample)

Writing Assignment #3: Short Story Literary Analysis Essay Analyze it in terms of theme and the author's use of the elements of fiction in order to convey that theme. Possible literary elements you will explore are: plot (end orientation, foreshadowing, elements of plot), irony, setting, symbolism, characterization (methods of characterization, round/flat, static/dynamic, tragic flaw), or point of view (first/third, major/minor, omniscient/limited omniscient/objective, reliable/unreliable). You may include secondary sources of literary criticism to help you with your essay. This essay should also be about 3 pages in length. Tips: - Do not summarize the story and then give your opinion of it. Support a thesis: shared theme & the use of the elements of literature to convey it. - Do not use the first person pronoun “I” anywhere in your paper. - Although you are exploring the elements, don't use the words “element” or “theme” in your analysis. In place of these words, use the actual theme and element. Ex: Poe further underscores the narrator's [denial of reality]1 with [the image of an eye (“I”)]2 with a film over it. 1. Theme 2. Element - Take great care with verb tense; write about both the action in the literature and the act of writing in the present tense. (Ex: Maupassant portrays; Desireé commits suicide) Suggested Format: Intro: Brief introduction to story; make sure you include the author, title, and date (Dates go directly after the title of a work in parentheses: “The Lottery” (1948).) Thesis re: Identified theme and the use of the elements of fiction to convey it Ex: Chopin shows the ego as being destructive through the use of symbolism. Body: Main points that support your claim; give each its own ¶, topic sentence, support from the story, quotes from your literary criticism, and explication/analysis on your part. You may choose to address each main point in one ¶ or to split each main point into two ¶s (by story). Your main points will be focused around the elements you select. Conclusion: Final statement which makes purpose and relevance of analysis clear to reader and leaves the reader thinking. source..
“The Lottery” (1948) is a short story written by Shirley Jackson. The story’s debut publication was on The New Yorker, a literary magazine, on June 26, 1948. Written in a horror genre, the short story’s publication was followed by controversy and criticism. As of the present, this short story is considered by critics as one of the finest American short stories of the twentieth century.
The story conveys that there is a reality hidden beneath what is seen as reality. Jackson wrote the txt in a way that violent ending is shadowed. The story opens a happy setting. As stated in the text, the story started on a warm clear sunny morning, with blooming flowers, and rich green grass. Town and villagers were as ordinary; simple, nice, and sociable. The way the story began draws the readers into a relaxed respite. Jackson’s descriptions of the surroundings have created a mood of peace and harmony. The reader was given a tranquil view about the state of the town; that nothing was significantly wrong in this small town.
The serene atmosphere was maintained by Jackson through introducing the characters of the story. She presented an image of children boisterously playing, men gathering to talk, and women exchanging gossip bits. She made it appear to the reader that setting of the story is seen to be as a normal summer morning of residents in a small town.
Further reading the story, the reader will encounter hints of the town’s unusualness. Jackson points out main buildings to be surrounding the town square, however, fail to mention two common main buildings; a courthouse and a church. This implies that the residents of the town were not governed by usual authorities (police or priest). The author also only mentioned that Halloween, together with teen club, square dances, and lottery, to be an occasion the town celebrates. Halloween, unlike other special occasions, involves rather shady types of activities. Another hint she has mentioned was that children were building massive piles of stones in the corner of the town squares as if this was an act for an enjoyable game. Such act foreshadows the story’s ending.
The turning point of the story happened when the black box came into the picture. The black box was seen as something bad for villagers were uneasy and kept their distance from it. The concept of the lottery was then introduced to the reader. This shifts the mood of the story. As the story moves near to its end, the mood was becoming more and more opposite of the previous one. The tone of the story shifts from calm to panic. A sense of urgency is felt as each of the villagers drew their slip from the box, until the ...
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